As digital wallet solutions like Apple Pay and Google Wallet become accepted in the travel industry, airlines can start reaping rewards and customer loyalty. In addition to in-flight purchases, JetBlue customers will soon be able to use Apple Pay to book and pay for travel bookings on their app. Other airlines are following suit, and it’s clear that this will have a large impact for airline providers, since digital payments offer greater security, convenient transaction processing and sales growth.
Greater transaction security
By allowing travelers to use their mobile devices for purchases, airlines are increasing both their security, as EY reports, and level of convenience. Most mobile devices today require some form of biometric security, such as a fingerprint, to make a purchase. Mobile payments reduce or eliminate the risk of credit card theft as neither your customer’s card nor device are in your control. If airlines accept digital payments, it helps shift the liability away from you in case of a breach, notes TechRepublic. You don’t process, store or even pass on any vital credit card information.
Additionally, accepting digital payments via a travel app saves travelers the inconvenience and security risks associated with taking out and entering credit card information in public while booking on-the-go.
Easier transaction processing
With mobile payments, it’s easier for travelers to make both a decision and a transaction at the same time. No matter where a traveler is, it’s possible to research flights and upgrades, and then just tap the screen to make the purchase. Simply being able to complete a transaction with one hand on a mobile device removes multiple barriers. Customers don’t need to locate a credit card, remove it from a wallet or bag, stop to enter the data or wait until there’s no one around to see. When travelers have this convenience, it helps ensure they’ll continue to use your service for future bookings.
Travel industry growth
The added convenience and security mobile payments provide can lead to greater sales, as EY reports, and it may become an expected form of payment soon, says Sterling Payment Technologies. Digital wallets create new purchasing opportunities for airlines. By supporting digital wallet payments, travelers with mobile devices turn into walking point-of-sale terminals, ready to purchase from you instantly. For example, via a digital wallet, a traveler can scan codes in ads to instantly book vacation packages, including airfare. Additionally, travelers can place meal orders, process rental car bookings, purchase vacation excursion packages or hard to book restaurant reservations while on board, allowing for partnerships across industries.
Accepting digital payments goes well beyond convenience. It’s setting the standard for transaction processing, security, and travel industry growth for many years to come.
More on virtual payments here.